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Vacation—tips that helped me pack my bags and avoid packing on the extra pounds

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The word “vacation” doesn’t mean to vacate your new healthy lifestyle that you have worked so hard to achieve. I picked a mini vacation for my reward for reaching the half way point of my goal weight. If you don’t have rewards for yourself, I strongly recommend it. It can be a great motivator and they don't have a cost a lot either. For example, I buy myself a goodie each week---how cheap! While I was eagerly anticipating my vacation that I had worked so hard for, I was concerned about undoing all of my progress up to that point. So I armed myself before I even pulled out of the driveway.

We (family of 4) stayed in a condo with a full kitchen. So I had the benefit of making my own breakfast and snacks every day. I also packed a picnic lunch or supper every day. We decided before we left home, only one meal out per day. That is not only Sparkplan friendly, but also saved $$ too. Here’s what I packed:

Healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack items…same food as when I am at home

Water …and more water

Coolers and ice packs…to take food and water on daily excursions so you don’t get hungry through out the day…my husband is still in shock that I must eat 5 times a day

Measuring cups and spoons…ya, I still measure everything

Food scale…measure and weigh…I did not take the bathroom scale though, I only weigh once a week. One week out of the month, I gain and lose 5 lbs. in that week. Net gain/loss is zero. I just accept that 1 week out of 4 the scale is not going to move for me.

Pedometer and HRM…to monitor all of my activities, make even sight-seeing count

Fitness DVD…just in case I did not get enough cardio or strength training in every day

Droid smart phone…for tracking everything that goes in…when up in the mountains when I had no service, I would take a picture of what I was going to eat and add a “sticky note” in my phone with a brief description so I could enter it later on SP.

Laptop…used it at night to do my Sparktime…track at least food and fitness everyday.

Just because you are on vacation is no excuse for not working out. No matter where you are, you can do SOMETHING. There was a treadmill and elliptical and weights at the condo for guest use. I didn’t use them, but I did swim every day. I also took a fitness DVD with me. For this particular trip, I wasn’t too worried about getting in fitness minutes. We did a lot of strenuous hiking. The kind where it is just as much of a workout going down the mountain as it is going up. And I volunteered to carry the water for added weight…more calorie burn. And it was still less weight than I carried up the mountain last year. It was fat instead of water.

For meals that we had to eat in a restaurant…I engaged the Mom Veto Power…NO buffets, and sometimes we ordered 2 or 3 meals and split them 4 ways. Here’s where the phone came in handy. I could look up food BEFORE I ordered. If I had to estimate something, I went on the high side to be safe. I enjoyed decadent foods IN MODERATION! Yes you can enjoy good food without deprivation.

Be realistic in your goals…I only expected to maintain my weight during my vacation time. But I actually lost 1.5 pounds. I tracked everything every day. I stayed in calorie range every day but one. The day that I did go over, I still had a differential because I was so active that day. If you are not familiar with the Single Day Calorie Differential Report, I recommend it. I look at that daily, and it really helps keep me on track.

Above all, have fun! And don’t feed the BEARS. In fact, just leave them alone. And don't pick the flowers either. This is my public service announcement/rant for the Great Smoky Mountains…I find it irritating that a mother bear and her two cubs have been removed from the park and taken to NC three times. According to the ranger, they think she MAY become too aggressive(with humans that are irritating her). HELLO, maybe she doesn’t want to leave. It IS HER HOME. When in the wild, YOU are the guest, so act like one. OK, rant over.

With a little planning you too can Spark while on vacation! And if you do pack on pounds while you are on vacation…so what…just get back to SP when you get home.

Spark on!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
FIFIFRIZZLE 10/18/2011 12:21AM

    This is just what I need at the moment, I am planning two holidays, one driving holiday soon, just a week but I've been wondering how to keep with the program. Great ideas and so sensible.

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YO~YOLANDA 9/5/2011 8:51AM

    Excellent Planning!!! I am taking a mini vacay in a couple of weeks and I am going to ponder your words yet again...pack some of your tools with me...and let's go for that maintain...with a surprise loss! =D

Thanks for sharing!

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JOANOFSPARK 8/23/2011 12:46PM

    well, better late than never, I guess....but I just discovered this blog.....probaby because the word 'vacation' just leaped out and hit me. *grin* :) but it is a great blog and I really liked how you planned well in advance.. I will be going on vacation in September and while we are planning, well in advance, there will definitely be times when healthy eating is not to heard of...we are taking plenty of water along....and my pedometer, and though I will not be able to get online....well, not sure about that, certainly not with my phone, but there might be some access along the way at some of the Comfort Inns that we will be staying it is not an impossibility but I will definitely be tracking both my meals and exercise in my handy dandy Calorie King food and exercise journal....just have to remember....everything in moderation...especially in Vegas.....*grin* but we will be doing lots of walking and even though I am taking a wheel chair, I plan on walking part of the time, but the wheel chair will make it much more enjoyable for all of us...but, I do plan on coming back at least one lb lighter.maybe more.....we will see.*grin* but I know that I can do it...just because it is there, doesn't mean that I have to eat it.:) emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/23/2011 12:48:06 PM

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MEADSBAY 8/2/2011 9:14PM

    emoticon tips here!
I love the 'mom veto power'
I rarely gain wt on vacation-
I try to stay active.
DH and I spent 9 days in Paris (!) in April, put 70 miles on my pedometer and I only gained 1lb.

Comment edited on: 8/2/2011 9:17:05 PM

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    Thanks for the great advice. I always find vacations the hardest time to stay on track.

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FINALLYBEINGME 7/30/2011 11:46PM

    I am so impressed with all the planning you did in advance for a healthy vacation! emoticon

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SSORENSEN1 6/20/2011 10:47AM

    You are proof that "It's a lifestyle, not a diet!
Thanks for sharing, soo inspirational! emoticon

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THETURTLEBEAR 6/18/2011 10:27PM

    All GOOD STUFF! Congrats on the weight loss too - WOO HOO!!

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JOMAMA 6/18/2011 3:29PM


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MOSTMOM1 6/18/2011 12:04PM

    Oh you smart, smart girl! GOOD JOB!!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 6/18/2011 11:55AM

    Your bottom line says it all - do the best you can and deal with it when you get home again!


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WONDERJUL 6/18/2011 10:53AM

    Loved it! My two favorites things that you said were "be realistic" and "the Mom veto".
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 6/18/2011 10:24AM

    Really useful advice! I'm going on vacation next week and I really don't want to mess it up. Thanks for sharing. Have a beautiful weekend!

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DEACTIVATED 6/18/2011 10:23AM

  Thanks for the tips! I'm getting ready to spend 8 days in Vermont for my graduate school residency, and these are great tips not only for traditional vacations, but for business travel as well.

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